Blue-ringed octopus

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Blue-ringed octopus
Greater Blue-ringed Octopus
(Hapalochlaena lunulata)
Scientific classification

Robson, 1929

The blue-ringed octopus (genus Hapalochlaena) is the most venomous octopus.[1] This small cephalopod mollusc lives in warm, shallow reefs off the coast of Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It has a life span of about two years. As of 2020, four different species have been described and named. Other species likely exist.

Description[change | change source]

The blue-ringed octopus has distinctive blue rings on its body and on its eight arms. This is its warning colouration, which it shows when attacked. The full warning display is bright yellow with blue rings or lines. It is only about 8 in (20 cm) with the tentacles spread wide.

Diet[change | change source]

It eats crabs, shrimp, and small fish. It hides in the reef, then catches prey with its arms, bites it with its tough beak, and kills it by delivering a poison in the saliva. The poison is a neurotoxin (maculotoxin) that is strong enough to kill a human being.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Ocean's deadliest: the deadliest creatures -- Greater Blue-Ringed Octopus". Animal Planet. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18.